Consume Part II:
ITS AMAZING WHAT THEYRE DOING WITH MODERN UPHOLSTERY THESE DAYSRose Furniture Upholstery.
One of the few things I inherited from my maternal grandfather was this incredibly comfortable old green couch. But after moving to San Francisco, where a Haight Street mouse made a nest in the thing, and then moving back to L.A., the poor old sofa seemed to be headed for scrap. Sagging floorward, pillows flatter than a pancake, full of rodent detritus . . . Grandpas couch was doomed. Or not quite. Rose Upholsterers, who saved our other living-room piece from extinction four years ago, came to the rescue. Six weeks later, the beaten down item was re-sprung, re-stuffed and re-upholstered in fantastic green denim. Lying on it is now somewhat like being abed in comfy jeans. "The customer picks out the fabric, and then we go to work," says Vahid Bashash, who for 12 years has been sofa-salvation central. "We never say no." Standing in the Zen-like atmosphere of his shop, you see why Roses is beloved by its patrons: These sofas and couches and chairs have been reincarnated by the crew. Rose also custom manufactures furniture to your personal specs. Its old-world workmanship, the likes of which gets rarer by the day.6014 Fountain Ave., Hollywood; (213) 463-6766.
BEST BIBLIO TECHOpamp Technical Bookstore.
In business for over 20 years, Opamp is a mecca for geeks of all ages and persuasions; if know-how is your thing, youll find yourself well indulged here. With titles ranging fromBecoming a Computer Musician
toThe Death Investigators Handbook
nerds and technical sissies alike will find something to pique their interests. The staff is friendly, intelligent, helpful and thorough, and not nearly as frightening as the books. These volumes could beat you up. Theyre bigger and smarter than you, and they know all about underwater warfare systems and photodiode amplifiers and stuff. Opamp also takes online orders (www.opamp.com), which receive a 5 percent discount. They offer a wide selection of used and out-of-print titles, and a T-shirt with a picture of Bill Gates on it, just to please your inner Urkel.1033 N. Sycamore Ave.; (213) 464-4322.
BEST GUERRILLA GARDENING SUPPLIES FOR THE PRE-HYDROPONIC CROWDSunset Nursery.
There are, perhaps, better gardening supply stores: Nickersons in Culver City, some place I heard about once in the San Gabriel Valley, even the OSH. But an urban gardener has specific needs: convenience, containers, and access to plants no normal person grows under the stairwell and between the cracks in the driveway. Sunset Nursery opens every day in the heart Silver Lake with an inventory that includes scented geraniums, weird herbs and a spectrum of seeds so varied you feel like youre strolling through the Burpee catalog. They also have oak barrels for sale, which make fine water gardens, and all the materials for that next raised bed you plan to install on the porch. If the store had just a small hydroponic section, itd be perfect. But perfection isnt the guerrilla gardeners objective, and were not growing our tomatoes in aquariums until next year.4368 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (213) 661-1642
. (Judith Lewis)
BEST HOPPY SHOPHome Beer, Wine and Cheesemaking Shop.
Do you love beer? Whether youre a fan of the currently popular microbrews or favor the bigger corporate breweries, the Home Beer and Wine Making Shop in Woodland Hills has something to suit your taste buds. From the moment you enter the shop, the aroma of fresh hops, malts and yeasts recalls daydreams of being turned loose in your favorite brewery. The expertise of the brewers and connoisseurs here offers years of trial-and-error experience, making it possible to re-create your favorite beers at home with a smaller chance of error. These guys have a great selection of products, including hundreds of seasonings, extracts, chemicals and additives (most of which youre encouraged to scale yourself) for creating that special flavor, as well as just about every available brewing system you might need, from natural fermentation to gas-injected carbonation. Theres also an extensive selection of brew lit, as well as merchandise and books on making your own wine and cheese, and if thats not enough to keep your palate busy, you can join the Maltose Falcons, a monthly club offering tastings and discussion with drinkers who seriously appreciate the varied tastes and textures of this refreshing beverage, and have done a mighty fine job of crafting it for over 20 years. So if youre an old fermenter or a young wort,hop
on down sometime, its the bestmalt
shop around.22836 Ventura Blvd., No. 2, Woodland Hills; (800) 559-9922.
BEST PLACE TO SMOKE SHEESHA AND DRINK MUDCherokee Market and Deli.
Also known as El Nile Cafe, this storefront hangout is run by an old Egyptian aud player, Fadi (a.k.a. "Sam"), whos made lots of records, been in tons of movies and worked with some of the best belly dancers in the Middle East. He makes mudlike Turkish coffee thats better than crystal meth and stocks a bunch ofnargilehs
, or water pipes, filled with honey-soaked tobacco (forget cigars!). Cherokee also serves good Middle Eastern food, rents videos, plays super Middle Eastern music and has live music for free when the older Middle Eastern musicians who hang out there jam with the boulevard-trash rock & roll kids. Only in Hollywood!6655-10 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (213) 465-5004.
BEST COOKBOOKS BY JANET JARVIS, BOOKSELLERCookbooks by Janet Jarvis, Bookseller.
I found out where old cookbooks go when they die: to this cookbook heaven, the only used/out-of-print cookbook store in the country. With more than 15,000 volumes, cookbook fans like me can whet their appetites browsing through such enticing sections as "Christmas," "Famous Chefs" and "Literary" (example:Pepys at Table
, with 17th-century recipes like "Rabbit Argenteuil"). The "Early American and Victorian" section had a wonderful reprint ofThe American Frugal Housewife
from 1836. Among the rare books under glass, I found a 1950 first-edition hardback Betty Crocker picture book for $75 and an originalVincent Price Treasury of Great Recipes
for $100, along with kicky matchbooks from Scandia and Perinos for 50 cents apiece. My favorite old Junior League books were under "Fund-raisers," weighing in with titles likeGator Country Cookbook
, with recipes for everything from "Mary Farhmas Spiced Gooseberries" to "Aunt Annies Heavenly Hash." I got lost in the menu bin, rooting through old Lawrys menus (from an era when a shrimp cocktail went for 30 cents), looking (in vain) for Nickodells. Then, the ultimate boomer nostalgia score: Under "Restaurants," next toThe Colony Cookbook
from 1945, anAlices Restaurant Cookbook
from 1969 inscribed "To my groovy wife, from your freaky husband, Fred."321 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank; (818) 848-4630.
BEST FUNKY DIVA SLUTFunky Diva.
We had just gorged on fatty, brunch-type sustenance and were dragging our carcasses down Melrose looking for our car. One of our out-of-town friends wanted to shop. We tried to tell her it was the same stuff she could get on St. Marks Place or the Haight, but damn it, she wanted L.A. trash. So we began darting in and out of various "altie-rock" places, when a little store caught our eyes. It had button-down shirts in the window: not preppy, not disco my god! We dashed in and began to browse. It was aClockwork Orange
kind of vibe without the lighting; the salesgirl glommed onto me like I was the last box of tampons in the only 7-Eleven for 20 miles. I appreciate good service. She helped me try on every piece of clothing in the store, including menswear. She didnt just go find stuff and bring it to me no, she took my hand and walked me around the store, caressing various parts of my body as we paused in front of the racks. She dressed and undressed me like a Barbie, and I didnt complain. I was feeling lightheaded from all the attention. My friends informed me that in the one-minute time span during which Girlie had left me alone to "compose myself" in the dressing room, she had asked my friends what band I was in. They told her the truth, that I was a writer. The strange part was, she didnt treat me any differently once she knew Iwasnt
a rock star. I felt hope flicker inside me you dont have to be a rock star to be molested on Melrose. Anybody can get that kind of service and attention at Funky Diva, bastion of equality and sisterhood.7611 Melrose Ave.; (213) 655-7629.
BEST PILES OF SHEETSMcManus and Morgan.
In 1923, two UCLA students named John and Elder got together and decided to open a store. Over the years, this store sold art supplies, offered book-binding services and stocked an incredible array of handmade paper. Some 74 years later, the art supplies and book binding are gone, as is much of the arts community that once thrived near the stores gritty MacArthur Park location. But today McManus and Morgan (John and Elder, respectively) is stillthe place
to find intriguing and aesthetically pleasing parchments. Tie-dyed papers, folded and dyed in kaleidoscopic patterns, hang alongside dark-colored sheets made from the pith of the papyrus plant. There is hand-pounded bark from central Mexico and a range of Nepalese offerings hewn from rice, straw, silk and grass. Less exotic offerings include handmade envelopes, stationery and journals, and an unusual selection of hand-marbled papers.2506 W. Seventh St.; (213) 387-2717.
BEST FIVE-COURSE BROWSINGGenede Chene Booksellers.
In business for 30 years, Genede Chene Book sellers has particularly large sections devoted to psychology, political science, Russia, Zen and Hinduism, as well as a huge paperback section with an excellent assortment of classics and recent titles. Everything is used, priced very reasonably and laid out chaotically. The manager says that she arranges the paperback literature section like a dinner party Truman Capote next to Paul Bowles, Virginia Woolf next to Gertrude Stein ("I think theyd get along"), Kate Millet next to Norman Mailer ("for some conflict"). There are cartoons taped up to the bookshelves to correspond with each section. The book buyers good taste is evidenced in the window:A Choice Not an Echo
by Phyllis Schlafly next toPrison Memoirs of an Anarchist
by Alexander Berkman, next toThe Naked Communist
by W. Cleon Shousen andA Dogs Book of Bugs
by Elizabeth Griffen.11556 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; (310) 477-8734.
BEST BUTCHER SHOP IN A TOURIST ATTRACTIONHuntington Meats.
Okay, I realize the category is a fairly narrow one after all, I dont think the Magic Kingdom has ever even considered adding "Beefland" to its thriving domain but the next time youre introducing an out-of-town guest to the joys of the Farmers Market, be sure and take a moment to check out the goods at Huntington Meats. Alongside the ribs, roasts, steaks and mind-bogglingly large planks of beef jerky sits the citys finest selection of high-quality sausages: For around $3 to $4 a pound, you can treat yourself to the spicy Cajun Chicken, the spicier Chicken Jezebel, the supremely succulent turkey with sun-dried tomato and basil all of which work equally well in sauces or on the grill and all manner of topnotch bangers and wursts (including a downright funky combi-nation of pork and alligator). The Huntington butchers themselves are friendly in a gruff sort of way, and usually more than happy to let you sample some of their freshly cooked wares. With a variety of condiments, rubs and barbecue sauces available on the side table, Huntington Meats has just about everything you need for a satisfying meat-related experience.6333 W. Third St.; (213) 938-5383
. (Dan Epstein)
A DECORATORS WORST NIGHTMAREPanoptikum.
Named after an 1880s European traveling carnival featuring mysteries and oddities, Panoptikum is a sort of Haunted MansionmeetsDr. Faust sideshow with an eight-foot Kali holding daggers (and Balinesian witch-doctor masks, and magically dancing demons, and coffins turned into armoires and 20s velvet parlor couches from funeral homes). The stores heart is in its hand-wrought-iron chandeliers, lamps, beds and especially one intriguing candelabra fashioned from deer antlers with a red-devil ornament. In the dimly lit Shadow Room, classic horror films play nonstop, and frighteningly real miniatures of the Golem, the Tarot Devil, Nosferatu and Dr. Caligari await their moment of awakening in your hands or in your nightmares.5050 Vineland Ave., N. Hollywood; (818) 985-2837.
BEST MEXICAN MOVIE POSTERSReign Trading Company.
The 1940s were the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, with the films of director Emilio Fernandez, cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa and actress Maria Felix competing at the box office with John Wayne, John Ford and Howard Hawks. Unlike American movie posters, which generally featured one still photo, Mexican studios often produced eight different posters for each film. Reign Trading Company
has an amazing collection of these lobby cards in the back of its folk-art store. Owners Angela and Ramon Villalba recently purchased a massive collection of vintage movie memorabilia that includes Jorge Negrete, Cantinflas, Pedro Infante, Pedro Armendarez and Santo the wrestler (Santo Versus Frankenstein, Santo Versus the Zombies, Santo Versus Villains in the Ring
). They also have American movie cards in Spanish, such as Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe inAlmas Perdidas
(River of No Return
), Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe inAlmas Desperadas
(Dont Bother to Knock
), and Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe inLos Inadaptados
). Plus, there are posters from sci-fi and exploitation films, Japanese monster movies, Disney and Los Hermanos Marx.13055 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 788-7717
. (Karen Cusolito)
BEST HANGMANTed Gibsons.
At a time when frame-shop owners still regard Patrick Nagel as an important artist, its nice to know people like 90-year-old Ted Gibson are still in business. Gibson, who got into the framing business by stretching canvas for Georgia OKeeffe in the late 20s, runs the oldest frame shop in L.A. In addition to selling or handcrafting every type of frame imaginable, the store also specializes in restoration of old frames and original works of art.2866 W. Seventh St.; (213) 382-9195.
SMILE YOURE ON AURA CAMERAInner Space.
Promoting a concept called E.Q. ("emotional intelligence"), the multimedia retail experience known as Inner Space meshes technology with New Age psychology in a serene environment. Showcasing products designed to develop and stimulate the "inner self," the store offers merchandise to soothe every sense, from music, aroma and color therapy to fun educational books and games about astrology and self-discovery. But what really sets the store apart from others of its kind are the interactive attractions. If you know your exact time of birth, the computer can print out a detailed astrological chart covering your characteristics, how youre perceived by the people around you and much more. Ever wonder what your aura looks like? You can not onlysee
it, but carry a photo of it in your wallet, thanks to their special "aura camera," which measures the origin, intensity and frequency of the electrical field between your hands. And if you really want an intoxicating experience unlike any other (short of a drug trip), you must
try their relaxing yet uplifting virtual ride, where you lie on a sound-conducting mattress, don a pair of special light-emanating glasses and wear headphones playing a hypnotic selection of electronic music. The 15-minute "ride" lets your mind go free, and many report seeing intensely colorful graphic images and patterns, while others go into a state of intense, near-meditative relaxation. You can even buy a take-home version that can be hooked up to your computer and programmed to relieve everything from insomnia to writers block.1225 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica; (310) 264-1843.
SCRUB YER FRINGE THERE, SPORT?Weldon Brothers.
If you place an area rug on the floor where it belongs, its bound to get dirty. But it isnt the red wine on the kilim thats the real problem its the cherry Kool-Aid on the Chinese Deco. Sugary stuff seeps into a rugs core and, even after cleaning, acts like a magnet to dirt. Ask any carpet dealer on La Cienega where to have precious area rugs cleaned, and hell tell you Weldon Brothers in Santa Monica, since 1937. Weldon offers free on-site estimates, pick-up and delivery to anywhere in L.A. County, and provides a written guarantee. A $5 rug from Kmart is cleaned with the same skill and care as a two-inch thick, $20,000 Moroccan woven. Weldon wants to remind you that next time a kid spills strawberry Jell-O on that $300 Canadian rag, "Actquickly!
The longer a spot or stain remains in the carpet, the harder it is to get out." So before you murder the kid, carefully pick up as much solid material as you can and blot the stain with a clean white towel. "Dont rub," whatever you do. Call1-800-Spot-Help
for a 24-hour recording of spot-removal advice. And dont panic: Weldon offers emergency service.1223 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 451-4871.
BEST OCCULT 7-ELEVENNina Religion.
Between a boarded-up storefront and azapateria
in Mid-City lies, unobtrusively, the king of botanicas a store for those hard-to-find herbs, spell books and cauldrons. For practitioners of the Afro-Cuban religions of Santería and Palo Mayombe, brought over from the Yoruba of Western Africa and from the Congo, its one-stop shopping. For Santeros, theres everything from statues of theorishas
(i.e., deities) in the form of their Catholic alter egos, of course (Santa Barbara for Chango, etc.) to waters, perfumes, oils, candles for love, for money, for good luck, for protection from death, from the police, from creditors. And for Paleros, essential material about which the less said, the better.2506 Pico Blvd.; (213) 382-3414
. (Ron Rico)
BEST OLD TOME HOMENational Charity League Ticktocker Thrift Shop.
In the heart of Culver Citys refurbished, ultranifty downtown is this fine thrift store, which keeps getting groovier and groovier with each visit. The book and periodical section has a good political-science collection and shelves dedicated to travel, cookbooks, self-help and loads more. I scoredThe Technological Society
by Jacques Ellul andThe Red and the Black
by Stendhal for 25 cents each. The hardbacks are a buck and up, and magazines are mostly 15 cents. The last time I was there, the back room had some beat-up furniture and somebodys hideous attempt at van GoghsSunflowers
for $35, overlooking a pink dirt bike that said "So Hot." Once, somebody unwittingly let go of their collection of old exotica records here, and they were scooped up quickly at $1 a pop.9441 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 559-8338
. (Adam Bregman)
DINOSAURS JR.Living Environments Northwest.
No Siamese cats at this pet shop. Only pythons, tarantulas and the like, living in custom-made habitats. Since the place opened in October 1995, manager Daniel Ross has kept an average of about 25 creatures on-site, most of them less than a year old. "We try to get them while theyre still young enough to train," Ross says. Members of the lizard kingdom, from geckos and chameleons to anoles and agamas, sell for less than $10 and upward of $200. Ross Burmese pythons which can sometimes cost thousands sell for between $200 and $600.7257 Melrose Ave.; (213) 938-5666
. (Jason Dean)
TELL YOU WHAT: YOU STOP ACTING SO PARANOID, AND WELL STOP FOLLOWING YOU AROUNDAtlantis Books.
There used to be a banner in front of Atlantis Books in Burbank that read "UFO BOOKS." And then, sometime around the anniversary of the Roswell crash, that banner disappeared. Conspiracy? You KNOW it is! Or at least you will after spending an hour or so in Atlantis. Gotta be those Masonic trilateralist puppeteers controlling everything down to the color of your socks! Or is it the Zeta-reticulan Pentagon alliance? Whatever color your paranoia, youll find the entire rainbow here, along with plenty of less alarmist, and even scholarly, works on history, alternative politics, the Cold War, government misdeeds, sins of the military-industrial complex, crimes of the church, of the cults, and just plain ol crimes. Paul Hunt, proprietor and bookseller, has been tangled up in this stuff for a few decades himself, having spent much of the 70s muckraking for local undergrounds such as theL.A. Free Press
. About 90 percent of the books are used, with most of the new titles from small or obscure publishers and sources. And almost nothing here is carried by the chains. Why? Chains? Chains? Why do you think they call them chains, man . . .?144 S. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank; (818) 845-6467.
(Reverend Al Cacophony)
BEST SOFT PRECIOUS THINGSThis Little Piggy Wears Cotton.
High-quality merchandise, much of it imported, puts This Little Piggy Wears Cotton in the Bourgeois Piglet category of kids wear, but so what? And who really wants to put another penny into Uncle Walts pocket? Opened in March, this one-stop shop for kids clothing, toys and furniture has an appealing sense of humor without the Disneyfied look of other childrens stores. Although most merchandise is geared toward discriminating shoppers under 12, This Little Piggy Wears Cotton has great buys for Mom and Dad, as well. Natural fabrics in the latest styles are especially comforting to soft, newborn skin. Furnishings include both antique and modern, and the toy selection covers the nostalgic (wooden pull-toys) and the futuristic (an otherworldly sci-fi tricycle).Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., Suite 692; (310) 659-5935
. (Sandra Ross)
UNCLE SAMS GOING-OUT-OF-BUSINESS SALESupply Sergeant.
Maybe Ive watchedPulp Fiction
one too many times, but Id say theres a good chance theres a gimp in bondage somewhere in the basement of the Supply Sergeant in Burbank. If nothing else, Im sure theres some proRuby Ridge literature lurking somewhere. It just has that vibe, you know? Nevertheless, they still have everything youd ever want for The Outdoor Experience, be it the Saturday hike in Griffith Park, a backpacking trip in the Sierras or a secession from the union somewhere in northern Idaho. But wait, theres more. You know youve always needed a Ricky Ricardo dress shirt, a 68 Chevelle belt buckle, pepper spray, a hip flask, a 10-foot-tall missile (authentic, we presume), an Elmer Fudd hunting cap, a U.S. Marines flag and everything imaginable in camouflage. Even if youre strapped for cash, just roaming the aisles is a pretty good way to pass an afternoon in a curious, sociological sort of way. Just be cool (dont go yelling "incoming"; that might not go over too well), tuck in your horns and keep the following items under wraps: ACLU card, "Draft Beer, Not Men" book bag, "Hillary Rules!" T-shirt, "Hikers for Choice" pin and, oh yeah, your "Hawaiians for Same Sex Marriages" baseball cap.503 N. Victory Blvd., Burbank; (818) 845-9433
. (Neal Weiss)
BEST HOT ROD SALONMooneyes Retail Store.
Before Ed "Big Daddy" Roth moved to Utah to become a Mormon, before George Barris sent the Batmobile to Gatlinburg, L.A. was a pantheon of the oft-maligned sport of hot rodding, and enthusiasts stocked up at "Moon." Customers still roll in for chromed Hemi block covers, but more often these days for the complete line of Ratfink, Mr. Horsepower and Mooneyes products; for the giant 8-ball gear shifts, the footprint gas pedal and the Satan back-up lights.10820 S. Norwalk Blvd., Santa Fe Springs; (562) 944-6311.
EXCUSE ME, BUT IVE LOST MY RINGO. MIND BENDING OVER?Record Rover.
Dont expect the snotty attitudes often found at the allegedly cooler stores across town. At Record Rover in Mar Vista, the staff is friendly, and the store has a warm, inviting feel to it. Looking for something the other stores are too busy to hunt down? Ask Paul, Graeme, Steve, Alex and the rest they know their shit, and theyll answer any and all questions you have, no matter how long it takes. Try getting that kind of service out in the 213 area code. Need some 45s? Some Joe Tex or R.B Greaves to round out the collection? Tony Joe Whites "Polk Salad Annie"? Youve come to the right place; the Rovers selection of 45s is unrivaled in L.A. The walls are decorated with about a bazillion rare and out-of-print records, all reasonably priced. Record Rover also buys used CDs and vinyl. And theres Beatles stuff up the ass.12204 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista; (310) 390-3132.
BEST MYSTERY BINSCanterburys.
Canterburys old records are cheap enough to make reconnecting that closeted turntable cost-effective. While it offers a great CD selection and quality vinyl in the Record Collectors price categories, what you really come here for are the unpredictable bins of used LPs at 25 cents and up, everything from 1955 Mighty Wurlitzer "hi-fi spectaculars" to Doobie Bros. anthologies to Schoenberg quartets. At these prices, you can buy all the records a normal person can carry for $10. And I once got a discount for naming the store clerks dog.805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 792-7184
. (Marc B. Haefele)
YOUR HIP PARADEAtomic Records.
Atomic Records has emerged as one of L.A.s hottest spots for rare records. Brothers Rick and Steve Alper, along with soul-record hound Kenn Norman, serve those hungry for vinyl by traveling around the world searching for vintage jazz, soul, rock, exotica, Latin, reggae, funk and soundtracks. Though you may find Atomic a bit pricey, remember that near-mint copies ofMultiplication Rock
, or Sun RasMy Brother the Wind
on Violence Records, are more than a little hard to come by. If theres a title youve been searching for, chances are Atomic has it . . . or will hunt it down for you.3818 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; (818) 848-7090.
BEST BLOCKBUSTER BUSTERBenway Records.
Arons Records wont let their new employees have facial piercings and has as many disgruntled ex-employees as the post office. Forget Rockaway Records, which is overpriced and has a mostly shitty selection. The Virgin Megastore and Blockbuster Music are only good for looting during riots. Generally, Orange County has a better selection of record stores than L.A. But with No Life and Headline opening two years ago, and now the superfriendly Benway Records, L.A. finally has some record stores that support the music scene rather than just profit from it. Benway has a lot of independent-label stuff, new and used, and no shortage of vinyl. Theres a particularly excellent selection of old used jazz on vinyl, though that stuff aint cheap. Theres a wall full of used cassettes, bins filled with used CDs, and T-shirts, stickers and posters for the kids. Benway Records is the kind of place you want to support, because if you dont, Blockbuster Inc. will end up owning the whole country.1600 Pacific Ave., Venice; (310) 396-8898.
BEST SCROUNGE FOR DISC JUNKIESPasadena City College Flea Market.
Even without its incredible music section, the Pasadena City College Flea Market is one of the coolest ways to kill a Sunday. Antique furniture, clothes, sports and movie memorabilia (and too much more to mention) abound. But it is the aforementioned music selection that sets the PCC meet apart. New and used CDs and vinyl are priced to move and not just crap like Dan Fogelberg and Robbie Dupree, either. Were talking about the good stuff: rare old blues, jazz and gospel LPs, 45s and 78s; reissues and current-release CDs atvery
competitive prices. And dont forget the really wild stuff. Need a copy of the Beatles infamous Butcher cover? How about a still-sealed copy of a first-pressing Billie Holiday LP? You can find all this and more at this haven for music junkies on the first Sunday of the month.Rare
isnt even the word to use for some of this stuff, if you know what I mean. If you do, chances are youre already a regular. But keep it to yourself cuts down on the riffraff.1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 585-7906.
STILL THE BEST CLASSICAL & JAZZ ON VINYLThe Record Collector.
It isnt cheap. But it has almost any recorded rarity you might be looking for as long as its jazz or classical and comes on vinyl. Owner Sanders Chase also provides an ongoing colloquium on the sonic, aesthetic and, yes, spiritual superiority of the 40-year pre-CD era of turntable-and-vacuum-tube audio.1158 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; (213) 467-2875
. (Marc B. Haefele)
UNCLE TIMS AMAZING CAVERNScooters Records.
KXLU listeners know Tim McDermott as Uncle Tim, host ofThe Bomb Shelter
on Friday nights. The shelves of his bitchen new record emporium reflect his radio programming, with plenty of vintage ska and rock-steady, a slew of the greasiest R&B and blues stirred in to taste, and a couple of generations worth of punk. Hes managed to pack an astonishing variety of LPs and CDs into the cavelike space housing Scooters now 10 months old and going strong where André Williams competes with the Bomboras on the house system, and a poster ofRaw Power
era Iggy bestows mute benediction on the proceedings. An average day will find graying vinyl purists elbow-to-elbow with skate punks; the latter, as Uncle Tim tells it, "would never go near the blues section, but love the fact that I carry every Dischord record ever made."200 Pier Ave., Suite No. 1, Hermosa Beach; (310) 372-1666
. (Richard Henderson)
BEST COMIC *!@#*% STOREAnother World.
The mural painted to look like a Buck Rogersera spaceship ready to rocket to the Red Planet is your first tip-off that this small 21-year-old comic store champions another time and place, when people bought comics for personal pleasure instead of as multicolored stock commodities. Owners Mary Anne and Bob Costas extensive warehouse of Golden Age and Silver Age oldies is worth the trip alone; but your visit wont be complete without striking up a conversation with Bob or Mary Anne about an old comic-book storyline, life on Mars (theToday
show interviewed Bob last year after evidence of possible Martian life was discovered) or the current state of the comic-book industry.1615 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (213) 257-7757
. (Ian Chaffee)
BEST WITCH HUTRavens Flight.
Suppose youre wiccan (sort of a nice, pre-Christian witch you know, dancing under the moon, talking to ancient trees and stuff; no animal sacrifices, though you can cast spells on em) and youre out of potions to brew, or youre just sick of those lonely Saturday nights invoking the same old spirits. This new store, housed in the most darling little ivy-and-spider-web covered Hansel-and-Gretel cottage, is here to "serve the pagan/wiccan community" with in-house events such as "Full Moon Goddess Rites" (potluck), pagan networking and workshops for making, say, ritual masks. Inside, theres a virtual witches brew (sorry) of tasteful gifts: sticks and rocks (for wands and divination), herbs, resins, oils, lovely Celtic jewelry and woven throws (for those freezing ancient European nights around the stone circles?), somereally
nice gargoyles; books on high priestessing, shaman-ing and every guide a girl could want on gettin cookin with the coven, fromA Witchs Kitchen Cookbook
and evenWiccacraft for Families
. And, of course, crone staffs hand-carved by a local pagan.5042 Vineland Ave., N. Hollywood; (818) 985-2944.
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